Since 2018, Project DASH has empowered food banks, food pantries, and other social impact organizations to use DoorDash logistics to power the delivery of charitable food and other essential items. Today, we’re announcing that Project DASH has reached a new milestone of 5 million deliveries of an estimated 80 million meals across the U.S. and Canada.
"Home delivery is now a permanent part of serving our neighbors and it has increased access in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago. When we were looking for a delivery partner, we needed a company who had the experience to go from the food bank to our neighbors’ doorsteps. DoorDash committed to serving the communities they're in and providing their expertise at a very reasonable cost. DoorDash has been an incredible partner in our home delivery efforts and they ensure our neighbors get the food they need, when they need it." said Marcos Gaucin, Chief Programs Officer, St. Mary's Food Bank
How Project DASH has Broadened Food Access and Reduced Barriers
We’ve helped hundreds of organizations serve their communities by powering local delivery with Project DASH, and look forward to new partnerships to broaden access for even more people.
Through local delivery powered by Project DASH, people are able to receive the food, essential items, or other resources they need without enduring stigma and despite transportation or other barriers. Delivery helps:
Seniors receive heavy food boxes without worrying about getting them home;
Immunocompromised people get food and essential items without putting their health at risk;
Rural communities gain access to food banks located in cities miles away;
People living in food deserts enjoy healthy, nutritious food without traveling long distances; and
As part of disaster recovery, people living in any community have access to a variety of essential items.
Local Delivery Scaled During the Pandemic but has Become a Permanent Part of How Nonprofits Serve Their Communities
Even as the pandemic receded and officially ended, nonprofits continued to serve their communities through local delivery in order to broaden access.
For many people experiencing food insecurity, getting food delivered from a food bank was the first time they felt comfortable getting help from a food bank at all. In addition to food assistance, for some, this has also led to accessing other social services that can improve health and financial security. Local delivery has helped serve communities across the U.S. and Canada in unique ways.
Mountaineer Food Bank: serving rural communities
Thanks to a grant from Save the Children, Mountaineer Food Bank has made more than 1,000 deliveries - comprised of food for more than 30,000 meals - to rural communities. For the first time ever, people in towns like Athens, Princeton, and Bluefield have access to charitable food delivered straight to their doorstep.
“Partnering with DoorDash allowed us to serve food deserts in rural communities. Our food bank’s truck pulls up to a parking lot and Dashers quickly pick-up and deliver food boxes so West Virginia families can have healthy groceries they would otherwise have to travel up to 60 miles to get. Project DASH’s ability to provide access to some of the farthest reaches of our state has made the difference between people going hungry or not,” said Gabri Schoolcraft, Communications Officer, Mountaineer Food Bank.
Hunger Free Pennsylvania: serving seniors through CSFP
Hunger Free Pennsylvania has served more than 8,000 seniors with delivery through the state-administered CSFP food box program. These monthly deliveries provide seniors with nutritious food without the stress of finding transportation to a pickup site or carrying 30 lb. food boxes.
“Pennsylvania seniors experiencing food insecurity face many challenges including transportation barriers, carrying a heavy box to their home, and the stigma associated with asking for help. Even after the pandemic, we’ve seen the need increase and senior hunger continue to rise. Project DASH has made it easier for seniors to accept help while still emphasizing dignity,” said Sheila Christopher, Executive Director, Hunger Free Pennsylvania.
Copia: food recovery that feeds people
Since 2021, Copia has partnered with Project DASH to help ensure that extra food doesn’t end up in a landfill, it ends up on someone’s plate instead.
“Project DASH has supported our ability to feed thousands of people with excess food. With rising costs due to inflation and other economic challenges, food recovery is a crucial way to help provide organizations with the food they need to serve their clients in a convenient and dignified way,” said Kimberly Smith, CEO of Copia.
Project DASH has Also Broken Down Barriers to Access in Times of Crisis, Health Emergencies, and More
Experiencing transportation barriers is often not only confined to food. People needing help before a natural disaster, before or right after they give birth, or dealing with back-to-school expenses might previously have had to spend time and money traveling to pickup locations far away from their home. Local delivery has broadened access to essential items, from formula and post-natal essentials to hurricane kits to school backpacks, while allowing people to use their time in a way that works for them.
Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin: bridging the gap for new parents and babies
As part of its work to serve vulnerable communities, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin leverages Project DASH to deliver essential care packages—consisting of food, diapers, and other necessities—to expecting or new BIPOC parents. The initiative has delivered over 400 packages which are tailored to benefit the parents and baby throughout every stage of growth.
“Serving our community means meeting diverse needs in different stages of life. Delivering these items greatly benefits parents, and complements the supportive community network we are building through The Nurturing Collaborative” said Maureen Fitzgerald, Vice President of Government Relations.
United Way Worldwide: delivering help before disaster strikes
In response to the COVID-19 crisis and rising levels of hunger during the pandemic, United Way Worldwide expanded Ride United to launch a "last mile" home delivery program to bring food and supplies to vulnerable populations. The partnership leverages DoorDash logistics to power deliveries to senior citizens, low-income families, and those who can't leave home, providing meals to people in need and flexible earnings opportunities to Dashers.
In Greater Houston, the program is managed by the 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE, part of United Way of Greater Houston, and facilitated more than 21,000 deliveries to support neighbors in 2022 alone. Target Hunger is one participating community partner that has leveraged local delivery creatively. They ensure neighbors are prepared for any disaster by delivering comprehensive Hurricane/Disaster Emergency packages, which consist of informative materials on hurricanes, reliable flashlights for emergencies, waterproof phone cases, secure document bags, and signs indicating occupancy status for doors.
Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina: delivering a healthier future
Working to improve health outcomes, the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina is using local delivery via Project DASH to provide healthy, nutritious foods to high-need Medicaid enrollees. Project DASH has powered more than 2500 deliveries of food boxes comprising more than 40,000 meals through the Healthy Opportunities Pilot.
“Being healthy isn’t just a medical diagnosis. It’s about having the necessary tools to create a foundation for long-term health. Project DASH has helped us provide Medicaid enrollees with the food they need to support a healthy lifestyle and reduce or prevent disease so they can live a longer, more fulfilling life,” said Alice Hudson, Support Services Program Manager, Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina.
Continuing to Serve Local Communities
This incredible milestone is made possible by the work our partners have done to broaden access in their communities. We’re proud to celebrate 5 million deliveries (and counting!) but know that local delivery is just beginning to break down barriers for people experiencing food insecurity and other challenges. If you’d like to partner with Project DASH, please email us at email@example.com.